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Can I refuse to take a breath test in Florida?

Every driver in Tampa should know that driving while intoxicated is not only dangerous, it is also illegal. Ideally, no one would get behind the wheel of a car if they are drunk. Unfortunately, this is unrealistic. No one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes like driving after having too much to drink.

If you have recently been pulled over or are worried about getting pulled over in the future for suspicion of drunk driving, you need to understand that you still have rights and options. For example, you do have the option to refuse a breath test if you are stopped by police in Florida. However, there will be consequences.

In accordance with Florida alcohol testing laws, drivers who refuse to submit to breath or chemical tests can lose their license for at least one year because doing so is a violation of implied consent laws. They can also still be arrested based on other factors an officer can take into considering when identifying potential signs of intoxication.

This may lead many people to ask why a person would refuse a test, then. A person may refuse to submit to testing if he or she feels sober but recently had alcohol. Preliminary testing could potentially reveal a higher BAC than later tests would show. Further, there have been several incidences when these roadside testing devices have been improperly calibrated, maintained or used which can seriously affect the accuracy of the results.

Whether you refuse these types of preliminary tests or not, you can be in a difficult and upsetting position of being arrested and charged with DUI. However, you have the right to defend yourself and challenge the evidence against you. That could include identifying a violation of your rights during the traffic stop or calling the results of testing measures into question.

The consequences of a DUI conviction in Florida can be very serious, so it can be crucial to work with your attorney to defend yourself and build a defense that may reduce or minimize the penalties you could be facing. 

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